An official at the center of press reports linking the mother of former Socialist Prime Minister George Papandreou to the so-called “Lagarde list” of Greeks with large Swiss accounts on Monday denied having mentioned her name.
Two newspaper reports on Sunday, in To Vima and Proto Thema, claimed that officials of the Financial Crimes Squad (SDOE) had mentioned Margarita Papandreou in testimony to prosecutors probing the list. The 89-year-old was allegedly mentioned by the SDOE officials as being “behind” an account held by a private employee, Maria Panteli. The account’s balance is said to be 500 million but the reports do not specify the currency.
Responding on Monday, SDOE inspections chief Nikos Lekkas denied having mentioned Papandreou, saying he never received an official version of the Lagarde list and could not have named anyone on it. Later, SDOE chief Stylianos Stasinopoulos defended himself, noting that he had “acted with a sense of responsibility and duty” when he testified about the Lagarde list.
The press reports prompted angry responses from George Papandreou and his mother, who claimed they were being targeted. PASOK has reportedly called for Stasinopoulos to be removed from his post.
In a related development, Archbishop Ieronymos is said to have asked SDOE officials for clarification about a probe into the bank accounts of a number of clerics following complaints by certain priests.